Filtration is an important step in the ink manufacturing process. Whether the ink is a dye-based aqueous ink for office printing or pigmented UV curable ink, it can be contaminated by many different areas throughout the digital printing process.
Filtration is used at multiple stages in the production of ink to achieve superior cleanliness. Inks are typically filtered during the manufacturing process to remove contamination and agglomerates, during package filling for contamination removal, and in the ink path of the printer itself. It is required in order to achieve the best printing quality and repeatability by removing oversized pigments and agglomerates.
Without removing these contaminants, print quality suffers and becomes unrepeatable, leading to downtime and print defects as printheads become clogged with undissolved dye components, gels and bacteria. Filtration can also help ensure the full dispersion of pigments during the mixing process.
The production of inkjet ink, in particular, is very filter-intensive both during production and during operation of the printer. Printhead nozzles can be smaller than 20 microns, and the applied filter is typically only 2 microns or smaller. The very high jetting frequencies and shear rates inside the printhead can lead to the formation of precipitates, gels or agglomerates, hence it is vital that filtration helps ensure no particulates reach the nozzle, causing printing failure which may require printhead replacement at a significant cost. Properly filtered ink also assures printer output quality and long running periods between purge cycles, reducing costs from wasted ink and media as well as production downtime.
Different types of filters are needed for different types of ink. We have a diverse range of cartridge filters that are suited for the production of inks. Click on the product to view the data sheet.